ISLAMABAD, March 05, 2013: Starting an hour late, the National Assembly in the 12th sitting of the 50th session left most agenda appearing on the Orders of the Day unaddressed as the house discussed the incident of recent bomb blast in Karachi for an hour and 56 minutes.
Four standing committee reports were presented before the house. Two of these were presented by the Standing Committee on Human Rights and one each by the Standing Committee on Interior and the Public Accounts Committee.
The sitting was marked by low attendance as only 53 members were present at the outset, 27 at the time of adjournment, while a maximum of 102 members were present at one point of sitting.
The Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting for two hours and the remaining proceedings were chaired by a member of the Panel of Chairpersons. The Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and the parliamentary leaders of MQM, MMAP, ANP, PML and BNPA did not attend the sitting.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The National Assembly met for two hours and 47 minutes. The sitting started at 1200 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1100 hours, witnessing a delay of an hour.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting for two hours while the remaining proceedings were chaired by a member of the Panel of Chairpersons.
- The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- Parliamentary leader of only PMLF, NPP and PPPS attended the sitting while those of MQM, MMAP, ANP, PML and BNPA were absent.
- The chief whips of PPPP and PML attended the sitting whereas those of PMLN, MQM, MMAP, ANP, PMLF and BNPA were not present.
- Fifty-three members (15% of the total membership) were present at the outset while 27 (8%) were present at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 102 members were present at one point of sitting.
- Six minority members attended the sitting.
- Eight members applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- An adjournment motion to discuss the recent bomb blast in Karachi was moved by the MQM legislators. Seven members deliberated upon it for an hour and 56 minutes.
- Four standing committee reports were presented before the House. These included: reports on the Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill 2010 and on the Reproductive Healthcare and Rights Bill 2010 by the Standing Committee on Human Rights, a Public Accounts Committee report on policy of allotment of plots to the Federal Government employees and others, and a report on the National Counter-terrorism Authority Bill 2013 by the Standing Committee on Interior.
Order and Institutionalization
- Nine points of order consumed 28 minutes of the sitting time.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to observers and the public.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI); a member organization of FAFEN
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